How do beginners progress?

7 years 4 months ago #13870 by Love2ski
I started on an XT about 6 weeks ago. I paddle around middle harbour in the usual spots. Im unfit and my core had deteriorated to the point of ruptured discs etc.

After about two weeks my back is the best it has ever been. My hip flexor pain has largely gone and I'm feeling great.

I have started using the xmotion iphone app and recording my distances and times. My average speed over about 5-10km is about 7km/hr. This includes a few rests and a few swims. My top speed is about 11km/hr.

From what i can see this is pretty slow. I also notice other paddlers go way quicker.

What is the normal progression of a beginner? Do you gradually get faster as your technique and fitness improve? Does it change in steps? Or will it never change? Is there a maximum hull speed for a boat?

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7 years 4 months ago #13872 by Warwick
Replied by Warwick on topic How do beginners progress?
I loved your post, your comments and questions reflect exactly how I was feeling several months ago. I have made some significant progress with my paddling of late and I would like to give my 2 cents worth.

Like anything in life, you improve with time and lots of hard work, so you can look forward to seeing your average speed increase over time as you put in the hours.

Going for stroke correction lessons will go a long way to increasing your speed, as the more efficient the stroke, the higher the average speed.

Coupled with that, a structured training programme will help you improve,doing plenty speed work will help you increase your average speed tremendously, you need this muscle strength and muscle memory to help you when you need to get onto a run, or catch up to a bunch in front of you.

A Fenn XT is designed not to go as fast as an Elite, but is way more stable, so one day, you will find your skills, stability and strength are good enough to graduate to an intermediate boat which is faster and less stable.

Measuring your performance is great, you will soon see improvement as you spend a lot more time in the water.

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7 years 4 months ago #13883 by Rightarmbad
Leaps and bounds.
Sometimes you seem like you are getting nowhere, sometimes something just clicks and you make a huge improvement.

Just paddle and know it will happen.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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7 years 4 months ago #13884 by Markmyword
Don't bother comparing yourself to what others are doing. Just keep on paddling and thinking about how you go about it in a logical fashion. Eventually you will notice improvements big and small. I have been paddling for just over a year now and last weekend i made a huge gain for me. I managed to to 6km at my fastest time ever without my body screaming out for a drink. Not big for some people but huge for me. My average paddle speed has not increased a lot in the past year, but my stability and total time i can paddle in one stint have increased. That has been my progression.

P.S. Just for comparison i have attached a link to one of my recent long (for me) paddles so you can see and compare times and speeds.

maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=21690...004cc3fa55771b68c5c6

Created by My Tracks on Android.

Name: 05/08/2012 11:07am
Activity type: paddling
Description: -
Total distance: 14.48 km (9.0 mi)
Total time: 2:03:31
Moving time: 1:50:03
Average speed: 7.04 km/h (4.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.90 km/h (4.9 mi/h)
Max speed: 12.73 km/h (7.9 mi/h)

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7 years 4 months ago - 7 years 4 months ago #13885 by AR_convert
I guess it's really quite an individual thing as it depends upon your sporting background, your ski, where you paddle etc etc etc.

The best way to improve is paddle with better paddlers and be a sponge, ask questions, observe, ask for feedback. I havent paid for any coaching (mainly because I've spent almost all my money on skis and paddles) yet I have gained sooo much learning from good local paddlers. If you ask most of the good paddlers are only to happy to give you advice and encouragement.

The biggest gains I have made are from paddling with groups slightly better than me, learn to washride so you can eventually hang with them, I had to washride one group for over a year before I was able to do a turn at the front.

We are fortunate in that we have a saturday morning group that usually splits into several groups, there is usually a group to suit the pace you need.

We have a guy in our training group now that has been paddling around 1 year and he is already challenging guys that have been paddling 5 years + and paddling in Division 1 in our marathons, so it's hard to compare to others.

I have been paddling for about 4 years and below has been my progression over 10km (rough time periods and could be .1-.2km/hr out here and there on speeds, but I had a Garmin pretty early on so I knew my speed improvement pretty well)

The ski's are listed for interest and should not be taken as being the limiting factor speed wise.

Plastic Finn Affinnity - a few months - 8-9km/hr
Epic V10 sport Club - 15 months - 9-10.7 km/hr
Epic V10L Club - 9 months - 10.7-11.1 km/hr
Carbonology Vault Hybrid - 16 months - 11.1- 12.2km/hr
Carbonology Flash Hybrid - 4 months - 12.2-12.5km/hr

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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7 years 4 months ago - 7 years 4 months ago #13891 by Kayaker Greg
Coming from sea kayaking, which I still do, I noticed my speeds increased hugely paddling a sea kayak to the point its impossible for me to paddle with other sea kayakers without zig zaging, doing circles to wait for other paddlers and I often average 8.5 kph to 9.0 kph in my sea kayak. However the progress in ski paddle speed from year to year seems painfully slow, my averages just don't seem to be much better despite my best efforts in what should be faster craft and working on technique and doing structured training, these guys that do 12kph averages seem totally out of reach for me. Where I paddle mostly is effected by strong current, wind and shallow water so I guess that has some effect.
When I race the guys in the local multi sport club, the guys go "Oh, its going to be hard in a ski" and it seems to be so against the multisport boats and K1's. But I keep at it because I enjoy it.

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7 years 3 months ago #14124 by swimskier
I would qualify myself a true beginner with altogether 2 months of paddling "experience" :blush: . A surgery put me off for a few months from my usual activities and I had to find another way to extract the energy. The Minister of the Domestic Affairs (my better half) suggested kayaking, so we went and hired seakayaks for a few hours and enjoyed it so much that I got myself a seakayak the same week. After a few outings I was doing steadily some 9..9.5 km/h avg according to my Garmin.

I then came across somebody who was selling a well looked after EPIC V10L Elite (surfskis are pretty rare species around here) and arranged for a testswim (only stayed upright with the legs outside of the bucket). Although I swim much faster without a surfski, I got infected by the challenge and had to bring the baby home.

After reading many useful tips here and watching some stuff on youtube I spent the first week on a small and flat lake just to be able to do some kms without falling off.

The next step was then lake Geneva with plenty of boat wake in all directions and some minor windchop. At first I fell off more frequently, but after a week I was falling off a handfull of times during an outing of couple of hrs. The average speed was not any faster than with the seakayak though..

I have now been out 18 times with the surfski and not falling off anymore in calm conditions. On flattish waters I'm now rather comfortably paddling between 10 and 11 km/h, but chop (in particular from the side) and headwind tend to slow me down. As I've seen many times here: "more time in the bucket will cure you.."
As the temperature are going down here, I still hope to be able to go out a couple of time/week to have some basis for next summer and perhaps even paricipate in a timed paddling event ;)

It would also be nice to try some real surfskiing in the ocean, even if it certanly involved a fair amount of swimskiing..

Nelo 560 SCS, Nelo Cinco E XXL, Epic V8 Ultra,

Previous skis: Epic V14 Elite, Fenn Elite Glide Carbon, Epic V10 Ultra G2, EPIC V10L Elite G1,
Previous K1s: Nelo Cinco SCS XXXL, Vajda Infusion 2 XL Elite, Epic Legacy XXL Marathon,Elio Sprint-P Marathon
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kayaker Greg

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7 years 3 months ago - 7 years 3 months ago #14132 by Physio
Replied by Physio on topic How do beginners progress?
(swimskier) great photo

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7 years 3 months ago #14140 by sAsLEX
Replied by sAsLEX on topic How do beginners progress?
First time out today in new Swordfish, previous experience was the half hour to pick between XT or Swordfish.

Spent a fair amount of time swimming today, though I was staying in shallow to assist easy remounting and the small swell was starting to kick up right where I was paddling. I spent a fair amount of time dragging one foot through the water to keep balanced whilst the bigger waves(wavelets really) came through and once comfortable would lift into boat for a good thirty seconds of paddling before taking a swim.

Cant wait to head out again, and to soon be able to join in the races that run off the beach on a Tuesday night that were just starting as I left.

this might work www.mapmyrun.com/workout/199039675

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7 years 3 months ago #14144 by GSPT
Replied by GSPT on topic How do beginners progress?
Progression in surf ski is slow, particularly for someone who may not come from an aquatic background. Like most sports (and languages), the younger you take it up, the more likely you will adapt quickly and the higher level of skill you will attain. So, progression depends on several factors (age, physical consition, mental approach/attitude, lifestyle, family and work factors).

Greg Smith
Level 2 PT and surf coach
Paddling Technician
S.Africa marathon 79, 81, 83

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7 years 3 months ago #14147 by robin.mousley
Hey Swimskier, Lake Geneva? Where do you live? My sister lives pretty close to Geneva (in France) and my daughter is going to spend some months on an exchange program at a school in Geneva itself, so I'm pretty likely to visit at some point and would love to paddle on the lake.

As to going up the learning curve - you're certainly challenging yourself on a V10L! It's one of the more tippy boats about... But given that you are on Lake Geneva which is probably fairly flat most of the time (certainly was when I've been there apart from one day which looked as though you could get a classic downwind in down the lake), you might get away with it!

I started on a Wedge, which I paddled for 6 months, then onto an SA-built Molokai for 18 months before going onto a top of the range boat. I started from a point where I had never paddled in my life, but I was dragged into the sport by a friend who insisted that we go out whatever the conditions - it was difficult, but I learned fast. I was also paddling about 4 times a week.

IMHO, it's all about time on the water and daring to go out when it's a bit choppy, whenever possible. (But be safe, don't go out in a howling offshore wind!)

In terms of technique, try to find an expert - even if it's a sprint or marathon paddler - the technique is largely the same to give you some pointers. You could also get either the Chalupsky/Barton "Forward Stroke" DVD, Dawid Mocke's ABC DVD or Dawid's book to get some theory.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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7 years 3 months ago #14167 by swimskier
Hi Robin, yes I'm in the Geneva region and about 15 min drive from the lake. Keep me posted when you'll be around such that we can arrange an outing on the lake. I trust you would have enjoyed last Sunday when we had over 30 knots blowing along the lake. I decided, however, that it was still beyond my modest abilities.. :blush:

It was indeed a bit frustrating in the beginning with the V10L, but now it has become very enjoyable and I can concentrate more on getting my stroke to resemble surfski paddling: turning the shoulders, driving with legs, catching in front, etc etc... The nice thing is that for time being there is (some) progress during every outing. The other day I had some 10 km side chop on the way back as the wind direction changed. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but it forced me to really work on the balance, loosening the hips etc.

I bought the V10L from a guy who's nowadays doing SUP at professional level and the deal included 5 lessons, but so far we haven't been able to find a suitable slot.. In general, the trouble here is that there are not so many paddlers around. Apart from a few seakayaks, I think I've seen one marathon boat and one V8 in 2 months, but should check where the local clubs train to seek some expert advice.
Thanks for the DVD and literature tips. I'll take a look at those.

Nelo 560 SCS, Nelo Cinco E XXL, Epic V8 Ultra,

Previous skis: Epic V14 Elite, Fenn Elite Glide Carbon, Epic V10 Ultra G2, EPIC V10L Elite G1,
Previous K1s: Nelo Cinco SCS XXXL, Vajda Infusion 2 XL Elite, Epic Legacy XXL Marathon,Elio Sprint-P Marathon

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7 years 3 months ago #14172 by 1xsculler
I'm 68 years old and started in a S1-X about two months ago. It seemed impossible for the first couple of outings but now I can do 3.5k on calm or slightly choppy, side wind, water with zero to one swim. I find it very challenging and if I can get the tendinitis in my shoulder to behave I am seriously hooked. X-rays and an MRI this week to be sure no serious damage has occurred.
My first love is still rowing but I love the challenge of paddling an elite ski.
The information available on this site and the two popular Forward Stroke DVDs have been very useful.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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7 years 3 months ago #14175 by jean pierre
HI swinskier
i'm the Vajda surfski importer for france , in Annecy anotger lake close by your place , i recently sold 2 vajda surf skis to geneva customers , so you won't feel alone , and we a group of surf ski paddlers on annecy lake growing every month .
so you will be welcome to come paddling with us on annecy lake
jp

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7 years 3 months ago #14188 by swimskier
Salut Jean-Pierre,
Good to know that there are other surfski paddlers in the Northern hemisphere and even within an hr drive :)

I'd like to join you guys for one of your regular(?) outings on Lac d'Annecy. The work interfering with the training schedule I'm afraid I could only make it on weekends though.. Where do you meet btw? Likewise, if you guys happen to paddle around Lac Leman let me know.

Those new Vadjas look very nice. Unfortunately, I couldn't possibly justify an update any time soon.. ;)

Nelo 560 SCS, Nelo Cinco E XXL, Epic V8 Ultra,

Previous skis: Epic V14 Elite, Fenn Elite Glide Carbon, Epic V10 Ultra G2, EPIC V10L Elite G1,
Previous K1s: Nelo Cinco SCS XXXL, Vajda Infusion 2 XL Elite, Epic Legacy XXL Marathon,Elio Sprint-P Marathon
The following user(s) said Thank You: jean pierre

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7 years 3 months ago #14193 by jean pierre
send me an email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
i'll give you the email of others geneva paddlers and i'll let you know about outings
jp

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7 years 3 months ago - 7 years 3 months ago #14194 by kayaking
Replied by kayaking on topic How do beginners progress?
Hi SwimSkier! :)

Jean Pierre already informed me that "another swimskier" is born :woohoo: So welcome here and welcome in the world of Surf Ski!

I'm a bloody beginner but I'm intent on doing things. :P

Send him (JP) an eMail and he'll send you our contact info. Hope you like the boat from JLM and hope we may be able to meet us soon for a ride out there...

Have fun in the meantime!

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7 years 3 months ago #14195 by Gazz
Replied by Gazz on topic How do beginners progress?
Been paddling since Feb this year and I find that it comes in a series of plateaus. Fitness helps of course but the challenge for me is finding a paddle thought or feel that helps to link the elements of technique together. The first big step was to trust correct technique. I suspect that beginners "feel" faster furiously windmilling their arms rather than using torso rotation and leg drive so they mistrust the correct technique. I'm speaking from personal experience. As soon as you find the limitations of improper technique, as I did, you either stay at that level or look for ways to improve. It's all good :)

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7 years 3 months ago #14259 by chucktheskiffie
Went out for my fifth paddle on Sunday (the fourth was Saturday)... Sunday morning was the first time i actually felt comfortable, and got some speed up.

It was brilliant.

The other 4 times i spent a lot of time swimming...

I have almost no experience paddling anything (except for a 3 day paddle down the Katherine River a few years ago), so all of this is brand new... can see that i am going to have a blast though... its interesting to see the progression on each time out... and the little things you pick up just from being on the ski in the first place...

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7 years 3 months ago #14273 by Gazz
Replied by Gazz on topic How do beginners progress?
Get yourself a swissball for home and do balance / core exercises on it while you watch tv or reading. Focus on your core.

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